CptChaosSidekick already has the story but it is consequential enough that I had to write up my own thoughts as well. Today is a sad, sad day in Redskins history, as the team (I'm sure reluctantly) cut the greatest backup FB who happened to play tight end in College in history. My fan-heart is broken into a million pieces as I try -- fail -- to comprehend the horror, the horror. Per the Official Site, emphasis added somberly:
To make room for Thomas on the roster, the Redskins released fullback Pete Schmitt.
This isn't actually a surprise to me, since not-too-long ago I asked a person of interest who would know something about it whether Schmitt had any chance of surviving the cuts, and was told matter-of-factly that he didn't. Deep down I knew it was always a long shot, but damn me for loving the underdog.
My support for Pete Schmitt is well documented. After this space's interview with Pete, the first Hogs Haven player interview, Schmitt struck me as a classic overachiever experiencing what many of us only dream of. He also drank Miller Lite and Gin and Tonics, which only endeared him to me more. And now, unfortunately, he's been cut.
Best wishes to Pete Schmitt and I hope he sticks somewhere. Apparently I didn't root loudly enough. I apologize.
I guess congrats are in order for Lee Gibbons of The Redskin Report. Although he didn't say anything, he could have as he called Nemo Broughton as the sure-fire starter over Pete Schmitt many months ago. As per usual, my prediction turned out to be bogus. Lee Gibbons is a reliable commenter on all things Redskins, and he's right once more.
The good news is that Devin Thomas is now signed:
The Redskins have signed rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas, the team's top selection in last April's NFL Draft.
Thomas was the Redskins' second-round draft pick, 34th overall, in the draft.
Thomas was at Redskins Park on Friday morning, along with his agent Drew Rosenhaus, to sign the contract. It is a four-year deal, the team has announced.
Redskins Insider has the semantics:
Thomas will earn a max of $4.8 million in his deal, with $2.75 million as his signing bonus, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
I never thought the team would have trouble signing Thomas so I'm not dancing in the moonlight over this, but good on the team for getting him under contract meaning one less thing to worry about during training camp. Speaking of TC, it hasn't received the coverage it deserves here and I apologize for that. As CptChaosSidekick pointed out, the Official Site has their own training camp battles to watch this season. It is:
PUNTER: FROST vs. BROOKS
SAFETY: DOUGHTY vs. SCHWEIGERT
FOURTH DEFENSIVE END
FIFTH WIDE RECEIVER
If I were to rank them in order of interest I'd say: Defensive end, then safety, then cornerback, then fifth wide receiver, then punter. Why?
Defensive End: I'm of the opinion, having watched the unimaginable happen when the Giants beat the Patriots in the last Super Bowl, that defensive line is the single greatest equalizer in the game. Am I relying too heavily on one anecdote that probably doesn't capture the larger scheme? Who cares, it makes for easier print. Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels are secure. The real issue is the trio of Erasmus James vs. Demetric Evans vs. Chris Wilson and how that shakes out. The good news to keep in mind is that we could end up with two solid backups plus a situational pass rusher. One carry-over from the Gregg Williams era I hope Greg Blache keeps is rotating the defensive ends in and out to keep them fresh (also we like to line up Daniels at tackle sometimes). Even if Wilson or Evans or James don't end up as the clear-cut backup DE, they still could make the roster and get some PT.
Safety: This is the Doughty show. My real interest in this is to see just how much of an overachiever he is; obviously the team didn't show tonnage of faith in his ability to be the starter as we went out and brought in some people to challenge him for position. Having said that, I thought he played reliably enough last season and would love to see him win the battle this time around. I noticed that Sean Taylor regressed a bit when Ryan Clark left town. I don't know if that wasn't just the result of a general decline in the total defense. I think chemistry at safety matters, anyways, and LaRon Landry has more with Doughty than anyone else on the team.
More Training Camp thoughts will follow this evening, but for now I'm taking the lady friend out to dinner and a movie (I am so, so cool). Get your thoughts in the comments section before I return to put you all to sleep. Cheers and thank ye Football Gods we're so close to the season.